fbpx

OnlySky is dedicated to protecting America’s secular democracy through reality-based journalism, storytelling, and commentary. But as a reader-supported platform, we need your help to do this work. Can we count you in?

$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Paying the transaction fee is not required, but it directs more money in support of our mission.

OnlySky is dedicated to protecting America’s secular democracy through reality-based journalism, storytelling, and commentary.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Get world-class secular storytelling delivered to your inbox every week.

Newsletters

OR

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service

Thank you for registering!

Get the best of OnlySky in your inbox every week.

Posted inEthics and Morality, Evolution

Some Plants Are Altruistic, Too, New Study Suggests

Reading Time: 3 minutes Feb. 1, 2013 — We’ve all heard examples of animal altruism: Dogs caring for orphaned kittens, chimps sharing food or dolphins nudging injured mates to the surface. Now, a study led by the University of Colorado Boulder suggests some plants are altruistic too.

The researchers looked at corn, in which each fertilized seed contained two “siblings” — an embryo and a corresponding bit of tissue known as endosperm that feeds the embryo as the seed grows, said CU-Boulder Professor Pamela Diggle. They compared the growth and behavior of the embryos and endosperm in seeds sharing the same mother and father with the growth and behavior of embryos and endosperm that had genetically different parents.

Posted inEthics and Morality, Science

Found: Altruism Brain Cells

Reading Time: 3 minutes Brain cells that fire only when monkeys act unselfishly may provide clues to the neural basis of altruism, according to a new study. In the study, the cells fire in rhesus monkeys when they gave juice away, but not when they received it. The findings, published Dec. 23 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may shed light on why many animals (including humans) exhibit kind, unselfish behavior that doesn’t directly benefit them.

Posted inEthics and Morality

God is a consequentialist

Reading Time: 23 minutes So here is an essay that I wrote earlier this year. I am posting it to see what you think, but also because I am writing a post on a connected idea based on a  paper by Stephen Maitzen on how morality presupposes atheism. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, comments below please. Morality is one of the […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

Does Morality Depend on God?

Reading Time: 15 minutes This is one of my favourite essays on the subject of morality and God. It is by P. Wesley Edwards and can be found variously online, such as here. JohnM was espousing the idea in his comments here that under an atheistic worldview, there is no moral foundation. Moreover, as the argument goes, only God can provide a sound underpinning for morality. In this essay, Edwards shows how this tack is circular and thus incoherent. As ever, let me know what you think.

Sign In

We've recently sent you an authentication link. Please, check your inbox!

Sign in with a password below, or sign in using your email.

Get a code sent to your email to sign in, or sign in using a password.

Enter the code you received via email to sign in, or sign in using a password.

Subscribe to our newsletters:

OR

By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Conditions.